Foursquare, before now, has not had any revenue coming in. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before they began rolling out their paid ads service. Right now, it’s just available to a pilot group, which consists of about 20 merchants including Old Navy, GAP and The Standard Miami hotel. It seems to be a perfect fit for retail marketing and even the travel industry.

What you need to know: Ads will appear in the “Explore” tab and can be in the form of a check-in deal or a purely informative ad. These ads are still based on relevancy, which means they appear to the Foursquare user when he/she is in the neighborhood. Also, Noah Weiss, the Foursquare product manager, said that a Dunkin Donuts promoted update might be more likely to show in the morning. “We think about these as Google search ads for real world places,” explained Weiss.

It seems that the full launch of Promoted Updates is intended for Q3 to ensure that they’re fully functional for Q4 of this year–an especially important time of year for merchants. So now is the time to do some research and figure out if Promoted Updates on Foursquare are right for your business.